Otia Magazine New Year’s Resolutions 2019

To celebrate the New Year we caught up with some of our most recent contributors to get their thoughts on the past year, Otia, and what 2019 will hold for them.

Michaela Dillon, Software Tester on Craft Brewing

  • Otia Magazine: I was delighted to be asked to contribute to Otia. Throughout my IT career, I have met many interesting people with equally diverse and unique interests, so it is great to be able to access a publication that captures these stories.
  • Michaela’s craft brewing in 2018: 2019 was a very good year for us, with new customers and additional outlets. We harvested the first native, wild fermented yeast and used it to produce two new beers. Our ‘Wild Yeast Chase’ adventure was significant enough to get a write up in the BBC online travel section. We also added Denis, a direct sales manager, to our team. 
  • 2019 Resolution: Our goals for 2019 include adding new recipes using our Roscommon yeast and explore the possibility of growing our own hops to make a 100% local beer. We will be expanding our export business in Europe and will be adding 330ml bottles to each. We will continue to develop our barrel aging program to introduce more exclusive and unique beers.
  • Would you like to pursue another pastime in the New Year: In 2019, I am definitely going to find the time master the accordion (current instrument is the fiddle) and spend more time playing traditional Irish music.

Marcus East, CTO on Volunteering

  • Otia Magazine: I enjoyed the experience – it’s always good to talk about the importance and impact of volunteering!
  • Marcus’ volunteering in 2018: 2018 has been a good year – although I’ve been busy, I’ve been able to carve out enough time to do some volunteering and helping not-for-profit organizations.
  • 2019 Resolution: I would like to get more hands-on with additional mentoring, and also invest more time helping young technologists who are at the start of their careers.
  • Would you like to pursue another pastime in the New Year: I’d like to start taking flying lessons; I did a lesson once before and really enjoyed it, so would like to do it properly now!


Morgan O’Brien, Project Manager and Musician

  • Otia Magazine: It was refreshing to share the bridge that exists between software engineering life and music. Music has helped my career, and my career helps the music. People don’t usually get to see that side of it.
  • Morgan’s music in 2018: I’ve been quite prolific this last year. I’m quite happy with that. I needed some diversity in my sets, and now there’s a good show from this. So yeah, it was a great year.
  • 2019 Resolution: The Dance Album launch next year is a goal. There are some parts to finish, but I’m almost there. Looking forward to getting out there more, working on live set and gigging. Also, I’ll be working with Nodman, Monster and Mark on the release of their album. Is a great album – can’t wait for it to be out.
  • Would you like to pursue another pastime in the New Year: Some sort of painting or art would be good. But who am I kidding, I’m probably going to buy a new instrument and have a go. I’ve always wanted to try the clarinet!


Alan Molloy, SVP of Engineering on Fly Fishing

  • Otia Magazine: Loved talking about my passion for fly fishing – to share the experience involved, having to think about it, and articulate why we do what we do.
  • Alan’s Fishing in 2018: Fly fishing this year has had its peaks and troughs. From the high of an April salmon on the Delphi system and a large wild brown trout off Lough Sheelin, to the low water and lack of fishing opportunities from this year’s warm summer in Ireland. I was probably one of the few people in Ireland praying for rain during the summer!
  • 2019 Resolution: Every new year, I set ridiculous goals to fish more, try new venues, catch a larger fish, and catch fish with a new technique. This year, I just want to enjoy quality fishing time in beautiful surroundings, continuing to learn. Any fish are a bonus.
  • Would you like to pursue another pastime in the New Year: I’ve started to dabble in astrophotography, with some good photos of Jupiter and Saturn so far. I want to progress this further with deep sky objects this year, including galaxies and nebulae.


João Proença, Software Engineer and Songwriter/Musician

  • Otia Magazine: The experience was so good! It allowed me to go back and revisit a lot of things about what makes me passionate about songwriting. And I got some very nice feedback about the article, with people I know from the tech world becoming aware that there was this other side of my life.
  • João’s music in 2018: It’s been a difficult year in terms of songwriting for me; I’ve been kind of battling “writer’s block” and, at the same time, having two toddlers running around the house makes it really hard to retreat to my improvised studio to let creativity flow. However, this last aspect was an achievement – being able to set up a sort-of my own studio in the attic of a relative; at least I know it’s there waiting for me when I get the chance!
  • 2019 Resolution: The major goal will be to at least release a couple of new songs online … and who knows, maybe I’ll manage to write a few more and even produce a new video!
  • Would you like to pursue another pastime in the New Year: Nothing planned right now … if I’m able to get songwriting back on track, that will surely take a lot of my time, so better keep my focus.


Damien Walsh, Business Development Manager and Music Composer

  • Otia Magazine: I enjoyed the experience; it was good to share my story and also to read what others working in Technology do outside of work. You had some interesting questions to ask as well!
  • Damien’s music in 2018:  I have had a successful year with my music – Sacred Sites II has had some great recognition winning awards at the Accolade Global Film Competition and the Cannes Corporate TV and Media Awards this year, so it was great to be a part of that series.
  • 2019 Resolution: I am looking forward to completing my latest feature film “The Zenith Protocol”. I am also going to look for some different projects in the animation and advertising space this year, which will be a new challenge for me but something I’ve always wanted to be involved in.
  • Would you like to pursue another pastime in the New Year: Photography – I’ve been at it on and off for a few years now, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to get a lot better this year starting with a trip around India over Christmas!


Eamonn Ryan, Software Tester and DJ

  • Otia Magazine: This is a great idea from Otia as its good to show people what you’re really like away from your work image.
  • Eamonn’s music in 2018: 2018 has been a good year – I got to DJ for some corporate brands and have been appointed a Brand Ambassador for a Swedish headphone company & a UK clothing company.
  • 2019 Resolution: I’d love to play at a big festival this summer.
  • Would you like to pursue another pastime in the New Year:  I plan to get back training in karate again.


Sonia Kolasinska, Software Engineer on Modelling & Cosplay

  • Otia Magazine: I’m so glad you have approached me. Thanks to that, I had this unique opportunity to share my unusual experience with the technology community. I think the article was put together in a brilliant way. I think technology suffers from an imbalance between men and women, and this article shows one success story of a trans-woman. In addition to being a software engineer with 18+ years of experience, and being passionate about modelling, I’m also a trans-feminist activist. So I am so grateful for the article in Otia. I really hope it will open some people’s hearts. I think there is lots of prejudice in the world about trans-women. I really hope to positively influence society to be more open to us.
  • Sonia’s modelling in 2018: I used to keep my passion for Cosplay and modelling to myself and my Facebook friends. After Otia approached me, I have realized that what I was doing I was wrong. If modelling is my passion, why don’t I actually start doing it together with other people who are into modelling. A friend on Facebook suggested me to create an account on Model Mayhem. I decided to listen to his advice. I also created a female model account on Model Mayhem (https://www.modelmayhem.com/4374170) and within first few days, I have received a number of friend requests and I’ve been contacted by few photographers. So far nothing happened, but it has been a very busy period for everyone, so if we arrange something it will be in the New Year. I’m looking forward to that.
  • 2019 Resolution: As it stands now, I have booked a boudoir photo shoot for February – I can’t wait to see how it will go. I have also talked to a number of photographers, so I hope I’m going to have a few photo shoots in the New Year. So far, my portfolio on Model Mayhem got very positive comments, so I’m hoping for the best. I do realize I’m very amateur and I don’t really know how to pose, and I need to learn that, but I trust I will get there.
  • Would you like to pursue another pastime in the New Year: I might take myself to Mondello Race Track for their open day. I drive a 2001 Celica, and I probably would like to try it on the track, but I don’t know if want to risk damaging it. The last time I took my car to Mondello it was in autumn 2010 and it was great fun, even though I blew up my car’s engine. This is what happens if you rev 8500 rpm non-stop for an hour or so!


Nikki Wong, Software Developer on Baking

  • Otia Magazine: It was such an honour to have been a part of the community this year – thanks for the opportunity! Someone actually came up to me during a market for Vegetarian Day and told me he read about my article on Otia!
  • Nikki’s baking in 2018: This year has been an incredible year for Two Bytes. It started off with only an idea and a passion and has come so far since February. I’ve met many wonderful people along the way, learned so much and made many friends! I’m not saying it was amazing and wonderful 100% of the time (there were ups and downs) but life is all about challenges, and it’s through these challenges that help us learn and grow. I have no regrets.
  • 2019 Resolution: To be very honest, I haven’t any particular goals with Two Bytes for 2019. Though I am taking time off to figure out the next step and where I’m going to take it. Fingers crossed everything will go well! Everyone has been very supportive and I’m really appreciative of that!
  • Would you like to pursue another pastime in the New Year: If I had time, yes I would love to get into app writing and get some projects going, but we will see!!


David Maia, Software Engineer and Pianist

  • Otia Magazine: I enjoyed the experience very much. The best part of it was sharing it with all my friends!
  • David’s music in 2018: I haven’t done much this year because I had a lot of changes in my life, but I am having an amazing time with life in general.
  • 2019 Resolution: Study more, maybe learn some jazz/improvisation.
  • Would you like to pursue another pastime in the New Year: Keep on mashing my jump rope and be bigger, fitter, healthier and happier.
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